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E3 Impression

Makai Kingdom

05.18.2005

HEATH HINDMAN
STAFF COLUMNIST
PHILIP BLOOM
E3 CORRESPONDANT

SCREENSHOT
There's a special connection between a girl and her rapier.

Well, given the fun chat RPGamer had earlier with Jack Niida of Nippon Ichi, I'd was energized to see just how true what we had heard was. The power grid being out had stopped us earlier, but Makai Kingdom is just not the type of game that bears much waiting, and soon enough I was able to grab a controller and watch the Demon King Zeta orchestrate his own doom and then survive as a book begging for help from the demon oracle and the netherworld overlord.

For those who really liked Disgaea's feel and atmosphere, it's back. I'm one of those, so it was a nice touch. Sitting down with it, it was clear that they did do what they said they would, with the gameplay starting off with Zeta trying to rebuild his shattered netherworld and summoning some demons by the old confine mechanic onto the world. What? They said that wasn't still around when we talked to them earlier. Well, it is, but only seems to be in the city building phase where you can confine demons to items and have them stay around forever afterwards, populating your growing kingdom. In battles though, they've put together this invite system, which is sort of a cross between confining (you get a range) and base (you don't need to have any item to confine them to and they stay forever).

SCREENSHOT
Wuzuhzuhzuhzuhzuh

In a victory for sanity, as well as my continued love of their work, they did simplify the system notably, streamlining it in a manner far similar to Disgaea, bringing back full team combos as your characters can gang up on enemies, and allowing you to dictate your whole team's attack plan at once. Starting fights with a team of three that I'd put together by summoning them into existence, Zeta had a commanding officer, a buxom healer, and two additional minions to begin his rebuilding of his netherworld. Victory won me a hospital to go alongside my weapon's shop which my commander could then use to heal the party or buy weapons with. All in all, it had a pretty smooth feel to it, even though it included the gridless style of Phantom Brave.

Overall, after a bit of a play, I'm looking forward to this title a good deal more. The whole setup was smooth and if you like Nippon Ichi strategy RPGs you can look forward to Makai Kingdom bringing more good fun times ahead.


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Console:
· PlayStation 2

Release:
· July, 2005

Publisher:
· Nippon Ichi

Developer:
· Nippon Ichi


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